Rainy Day Games to Play With Your Dog


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“Is it ever going to stop raining?”

That is the question on every Chicagoan’s mind this June. All of the Chicagoans who have dogs, that is. With nothing but thunderstorms ahead in the extended forecast, you may be starting to wonder if you’ll ever get the chance to visit the dog park or beach without having to make a mad dash for shelter.

While we humans are pretty adaptable and can go to a movie or hit the shopping mall when the weather turns sour, our dogs aren’t quite as lucky. When it’s soggy outside their daily walks are often cut short and they may start to take out their cabin fever on your furniture or shoes. Yikes! To give your dog extra mental and physical stimulation outside of dog daycare, here are a few indoor games you can play at home.

  1. Hide and seek Show your dog a bone or toy and then put her somewhere she can’t see you. Hide the item, and then tell your pup to go find it. As your dog catches on you’ll have to get more creative with your hiding places!

  2. Staircase dash Do you have a staircase at home? If so, have your dog sit and stay. Throw a toy from the bottom of the stairs to the top landing. Your dog will dash to the top to retrieve the prize, and should descend the staircase at his own pace. He’ll be pooped out after 10 throws.

  3. Use your nose Set a few boxes or containers upside down and hide a treat beneath one of them. Encourage your pup to smell each box. When he pauses at the one with the treat inside, reveal the prize and offer him praise for his discovery.

  4. Obstacle course Set up a variety of obstacles (a chair, stool, crate, hoop, etc.) and instruct your dog to jump over or crawl under each item. Reward your pup every time she completes a maneuver successfully.

  5. Learn a new trick Teach your dog new trick, like “roll over” or “play dead.” If your dog has trouble focusing on you, try playing “touch.” In a seated position, have your dog tap your left hand with his nose and immediately reward him with a treat from your right hand. Repeat.

Taking your pup to dog daycare and alternating between a few of these indoor games will keep her physically fit and mentally stimulated while we ride out monsoon season. Before long, the sun will reappear and you and your dog can resume your favorite outdoor activities once again.

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